Of course, when you get back from a trip where you’ve been to 6 countries and 10 cities in a month, people inevitably want to know which place was your favourite. Sometimes it’s hard to choose, e.g. I always struggle when people ask this about Australia because there are so many places I loved for different reasons. However, when it came to answering this about my Balkans trip it was easy and obvious. My favourite country was Bosnia & Herzegovina. This answer surprised a lot of people, who obviously expected the more obvious Croatia or Montenegro to be my choice. What can I say? I loved Bosnia and Herzegovina and these are just a few of the reasons why.
Those of you who’ve read my last few blog posts will know that I took a backpacking trip last summer travelling around the Balkans by bus. Through the course of blogging about that trip, I’ve had a few people ask me about the specifics of my itinerary and, in particular, the cost of travelling the Balkans for one month. While Eastern Europe has a reputation for being cheap to travel in, it’s certainly not the case for all of the Balkan countries. I visited a mix of the cheaper and more expensive ones, recording all of my expenses as I went, and now I’m going to spill all of the info about what I spent in this blog post. Interested? Read on…
Serbia has never really been a place I’ve been desperate to visit, but when I came to do the research for where I should visit on my trip around the Balkans by bus last summer, it peaked my interest. Mostly because it’s a destination I don’t hear many people talk about and so I had no expectations. I promptly added the capital, Belgrade, to my itinerary, and I was so glad that I did! There aren’t huge amounts to do but it’s certainly enough to fill a couple of chilled out days on an alternative city break.
Before heading off on my trip around the Balkans I had never actually heard of the 7 Rila Lakes in Bulgaria, let alone planned to go there. It was only when I ended up with a free day in Sofia and started looking at day trips that I found one of the most popular involved hiking in the Rila National Park to a point where you can see all of the 7 Rila Lakes from one incredible viewpoint. After a quick look through the photos, and knowing I wasn’t going to have too many opportunities to get into nature and out of the city in this trip, I knew I HAD to do it.
Before starting my Balkans trip I knew that while travelling through mainland Greece I wanted to visit the famous monasteries at Meteora. I initially planned to travel there on my way from Delphi to Thessaloniki but when I looked into public transport options it was trickier than I had anticipated. In this sort of situation I am not adverse to taking a tour and after looking at a few different ones I settled on Ammon Express’ Meteora day trip from Thessaloniki.